Billingshurst 550-home development gets one step closer

JPCT 110712 Land for development East of Billinghurst. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 110712 Land for development East of Billinghurst. Photo by Derek Martin

An action group has vented its fury as a 550-home development east of Billingshurst was recommended for approval by council planning officers.

The application, submitted by Devine Homes, Reside Developments, Bellway Homes and Rydon Group, still has to be debated and passed by Horsham District Council’s development control south committee this Tuesday July 17 at 11.30am.

Billingshurst Parish Council continues to vehemently oppose plans for land around the A272, submitted in August 2011 and amended this April.

Dave Mowling, chairman of Save our Sussex Alliance, but speaking for Save Billingshurst Action Group, called on councillors to reject the application on landscaping grounds.

“HDC are failing in their judicial duties to protect what we have already got,” he said.

“I do not see this giving any benefit to Billingshurst just more traffic and infrastructure issues and more pollution.”

He drew attention to the planners’ report, which said the application would adversely affect the area visually and added that that an extra 1,200 homes could follow, while the A272 and A29 were already experiencing heavy traffic flow in and out of the village.

Billingshurst Parish Council, in its original letter, said: “For the parish of Billingshurst, it is being expected to accept more than its fair share of the district’s development.”

Planning officers conceded that: “There have to be extremely clear and specific reasons for refusal if the housing supply position is to be over-ridden by other factors.”

HDC received 286 letters of objection when plans were originally submitted and a further 66 to the amended plans, with just two letters in support.

Along with 550 homes, the Section 106 agreement would provide land for a school, dentist’s surgery and creche, £48,000 in improvements to the railway station, and a spine road and junction on the A272.